Here and Now

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DJ Session: Sounds For The Holiday Weekend

Jul 2, 2015

For the upcoming holiday weekend, this week’s edition of the Here & Now DJ Sessions features KCRW’s Anthony Valadez, with new music from the artist Bilal, a trained opera singer who has now gone in a very different direction. He also shares songs from U.K. artist LA Priest, Canadian singer and musician Mocky and Argentine DJ/producer Chancha Via Circuito.

Facebook is millennials’ No. 1 source for political news, according to a recent study by Pew Research Center. Now, other social media outlets are trying to get on board.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with media analyst John Carroll about social networks’ stampede to become news outlets and get journalists on staff.

The Supreme Court’s recent ruling on same-sex marriage is a striking reminder of the strides LGBT Americans have made toward acceptance in recent years.

But it wasn’t very long ago that the broader society treated them with scorn. That’s clear from a 1961 television documentary called “The Rejected.” It was one of the first to openly address sexual orientation, and was considered progressive at the time.

After the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, couples in states around the country rushed to courthouses to get marriage licenses. Many states that had been hold-outs, including Michigan, shifted policies very quickly.

But in some places in the South, including counties in Alabama, clerks are pushing back. One clerk in Arkansas has reportedly quit in opposition. Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson speaks with NPR reporter Debbie Elliott about the trend.

On July 15, NASA’s unmanned spacecraft New Horizons is expected to encounter its primary target of Pluto. It’s a project nine years in the making, and with 3 billion miles recorded, it is the longest, farthest and fastest-ever space mission.

“Time flies when you’re having fun,” Alan Stern, who leads the mission, told Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson. “We’ve crossed the entirety of the solar system and now we’re on Pluto’s doorstep.”

Obama To Expand Overtime Pay For Millions

Jun 30, 2015

President Obama announced this week that the Labor Department will expand overtime pay, in a move the administration estimates would impact 5 million U.S. workers. That would double the income threshold at which employers can avoid paying overtime.

Right now, only salaried employees earning less $23,660 a year are eligible for overtime. This rule would raise that threshold so that employees making up to $50,660 a year would get paid overtime.

Its been a busy week for the Supreme Court. Not surprisingly, that means it has been a busy week for linguists. Consider that in the last few days we’ve heard Justice Antonin Scalia use both jiggery-pokery and mummeries.

A new chorus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is helping transgender men and women find their voices – and community. The Butterfly Music Transgender Chorus was founded by Sandi Hammond, a singer and vocal teacher, who wanted to help trans men and women learn to use their changing voices in a safe space.

Google may offer the benefit of filtering a world of data into a digestible stream of links, but new research says those results are subject to manipulation.

The study, authored by top legal and economic scholars from Columbia and Harvard University, but paid for by Google rival Yelp, says the search engine giant knowingly buries its competitors. Google refutes the findings.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has launched a 2016 campaign for president.

The Republican governor formally announced his plans in a Tuesday morning event in the gymnasium of his old high school.

He says both political parties “have failed our country” in an announcement speech calling for more compromise in politics.

Christie was once thought to be a leading White House contender, but his star has faded over the last year. He’s been hurt by a traffic scandal involving senior aides and a lagging state economy.

Our electricity system is changing rapidly around us. New sources of renewable power are meeting technologies that can crunch unprecedented amounts of data. It’s all leading to a major shakeup for how utilities do business. Dan Boyce from Here & Now’s contributor Inside Energy takes us to Fort Collins, Colorado, for a peek into our utility’s possible future.

President Obama won a series of huge victories in the Supreme Court last week, including health care and same sex marriage. And officials in South Carolina called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds after nine African Americans were gunned down in a Charleston church. Here & Now’s Robin Young asks historian Julian Zelizer to put the week into historical context.

There are a number of dramatic economic stories in the news today. In Greece, banks and markets are closed, as the country edges towards a default and or exit from the eurozone.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s governor now says that the commonwealth cannot pay its $72 billion in debts. And in China, stocks have tumbled into a bear market, despite a move by the central bank there to cut interest rates to a record low.

President Barack Obama has delivered a rousing eulogy for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was among nine who were slain at an African-American church in South Carolina last week.

“The nation shares in your grief,” Obama said Friday at the funeral for Pinckney, 41, who was shot and killed during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Eight others also died.

“What a good man,” Obama said. “What an example he set.”

Fourteen states must lift their bans on same-sex marriage, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry anywhere in the United States. One of the states that must lift its ban is Kentucky. Joseph Lord of Here & Now contributing station WFPL in Louisville joins host Jeremy Hobson with details.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled to extend the right to marry to same-sex couples in all 50 states. Among those who oppose the ruling is Jim Campbell, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom. He speaks with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

On his final day broadcasting from Texas, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson sits down with San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor, who took the oath of office this week.

He asks her about San Antonio’s rapid growth, housing prices, a controversy over an anti-discrimination ordinance that protects members of the LGBT community, and the recent departure of the ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft from San Antonio.

More and more people are putting themselves and wild animals in danger, all in the name of a cool selfie. The trend of taking exciting selfies and videos has resulted in injured animals and animal harassment charges for the humans involved.

Vicki Croke, host of WBUR’s The Wild Life blog joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to talk about the abuse of animals in pursuit of a good selfie.

Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with Julia Turner, editor-in-chief of Slate, about what’s trending on social media.

The California State Assembly has passed a bill that would require all children – except for those with medical wavers – to receive vaccinations before attending school. Current law allows for personal belief exemptions.

Many California parents choose not to vaccinate their children out of fear that it will cause autism or other medical problems, but medical professionals assert that there is no risk of such side effects.

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev apologized for the deadly attack for the first time Wednesday just before a judge was set to formally sentence him to death.

“I am sorry for the lives that I’ve taken, for the suffering that I’ve caused you, for the damage that I’ve done – irreparable damage,” the 21-year-old college student said, breaking more than two years of public silence.

To the victims, he said: “I pray for your relief, for your healing.”

The Supreme Court is scheduled to rule on two landmark cases in the next few days – same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act. Advocates and critics of the death penalty are also watching for a ruling on the constitutionality of some lethal injection drugs.

But why do all these big cases come at the same time? What goes on behind the scenes of the Supreme Court as a session winds down? Here & Now’s Robin Young asks NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg.

As politicians across the South are stepping in to call for the removal of the Confederate battle flag and other symbols of the Confederacy, big businesses are also joining the fray. Wal-Mart, eBay, Amazon and others have promised to pull merchandise tied to the flag, in some cases adding strong arguments against the products.

Of all the ingredients she uses in her dishes, Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst prizes garlic above all. “Garlic is the spine of all my cooking. I cannot imagine cooking without it,” she told host Robin Young.

Kathy gave us this primer on garlic scapes, green garlic and roasted garlic. She also brought us these four recipes:

As NATO defense ministers gather for a meeting in Brussels tomorrow, they face a central question: Just how serious is the threat from Russia? Some say they have much bigger problems than Vladimir Putin, but others fear the Kremlin is growing dangerously hostile.

Any day now, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide whether or not states have the constitutional right to ban same-sex marriage. Whichever way the court goes, this ruling could create a murky legal situation for several states that allow same sex marriage, as well as several states that prohibit it.

It has been six days since nine people were shot and killed at Emanual AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The shooting has ignited a debate about the Confederate flag, which still flies at the statehouse in South Carolina, while the state and American flags are at half-mast.

Remembering Composer Gunther Schuller

Jun 22, 2015

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gunther Schuller died on Sunday at the age of 89. He was known for his versatility: as a horn player he performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and recorded with Miles Davis. As the head of the New England Conservatory in Boston, he introduced jazz into the curriculum. His works “Where the Word Ends” and “Dreamscape” were also performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Golf has a new star – 21-year-old Jordan Spieth. He won the U.S. Open trophy yesterday with a one-stroke victory. He also won the Master’s in April, and is the youngest to win two majors in one year since 1922. Sports reporter Dave Sheinin of The Washington Post joins Here & Now’s Robin Young with details.

The Obama administration is proposing new regulations aimed at cutting carbon pollution from medium and heavy-duty trucks.

Citing climate change concerns, the rule from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department would raise fuel efficiency for rigs hauling goods like steel, oil and timber, as well as delivery vehicles and dump trucks.

The proposal will be open for public comment, and the administration is expected to have a final version next year.

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